A Manifesto for the traditional arts of Wales


Over the next month we are working on the Arts Council of Wales’ Investment Review (ACW). This is our opportunity to make the case for a proper investment in our traditional arts and we need your input. We want to use this review to put forward a vision for our folk traditions for the next ten years, outlining what we - the sector -  want, how we get there and why it’s important.

This is the first step in a consultation that will last for a year. Initially we need you to tell us what you feel is important and what should be done. The next step is to call a convention for everyone who is passionate about our traditional arts this Autumn. This is when we will co-ordinate your vision into a joint plan of action. 

Who is the sector?

You are. If you are reading this then you are likely to be a musician, dancer, singer, storyteller, a member of a choir, a village band, or a promoter, or a folk club, or a society or a person who cares about our music and wants to see it flourish. You could be a father wanting to learn songs to sing to his baby or a mother wanting to pass on her fiddle playing to her child. You could be a teacher wanting to bring traditional music into schools or someone who wants to listen to more folk music in our theatres.


How can you contribute?

Tell us what you want to happen! Tell us your vision for traditional music. It can be anything that you feel passionate about: dance teams, Cerdd Dant, opportunities to learn or take part in Plygain or a session. It can be a long-term strategic vision for social inclusion, tourism or singing as a community activity.


Fill in this Survey Monkey, send us an email at the addresses at the bottom of the page, leave a message on our Facebook Page, tweet us or write a letter to trac, PO BOX 428 Cardiff CF11 1DP. As they come in, we’ll put them all up on our website. If you’d like to remain anonymous just let us know. These will all inform our submission to ACW, which we’ll also post online.


We need this information by midnight, Sunday 3rd of May 2015 to put it together for the review deadline of 21st May 2015.


This Autumn we intend to call the whole sector together for a weekend conference where we’ll examine the manifesto and build a strategy for Welsh traditional music to build these themes into an action plan that the whole sector can work towards together.


So let us know what you want. We won't get this opportunity for another five years.

Showcases at the Folk Alliance 2015

Artists' Showcase Times and Rooms : Amserau a Lleoliadau Artistiaid.

Folk Alliance International 2015

FAI2015Welsh music is off to the US next week to showcase at the Folk Alliance International conference in Kansas City.

Kizzy Crawford, Lowri Evans, Chris Jones and Gwyneth Glyn all have official showcases at the huge event, the biggest trade fair for folk and traditional music. The Horizons Suite will host additional showcases featuring UK acts and guests.

The conference hosts two thousand showcases over four days, and the Welsh artists and trac staff supporting them are part of a bigger British delegation under the banner Horizons - A World of Music from the UK & Ireland.

trac Director Danny KilBride said "trac has been working on this for some years - attending the conference, building relationships with contacts overseas and preparing the way for Welsh acts. We're looking forward to sharing just some of the talent Wales has to offer."

It's all been made possible by funding from the Arts Council of Wales' Music Industry Development Fund and Wales Arts International. Our partners in the delegation are British Underground, which helps promote UK music abroad, and the English Folk Dance & Song Society and Generator Northern Ireland who are also taking out a number of acts.

Our performers:

Lowri Evans

Lowri woods

Described as a 'Major talent in any language', play listed on BBC Radio and quoted as a 'Wonderful Singer Songwriter' by Bob Harris BBC Radio 2, Lowri Evans is like one of those rare gold nuggets, not often found, nestling within the Welsh valleys.
Nominated for Welsh Artist of the Year and having performed with artists such as Cara Dillon and Martin Simpson, her songs take their musical colours from a broad palette that includes folk, country and blues. www.lowrievansofficial.co.uk

 Wednesday 18th - 22.30 at Horizons, Regent's Suite, 5th Floor (539)

Thursday 19th - 00.00 at Horizons, Regent's Suite, 5th Floor (539)

Saturday 21st - 19.00 official showcase, Liberty

                            - 22.30 in the round with Rosie Hood at Horizons, Regent's Suite, 5th Floor (539)


Kizzy Crawford

Kizzy FAI


Kizzy's dazzling talent is sure to make her a major star. trac recently took her to Canada as part of Music PEI's showcase festival and we're looking forward to introducing Folk Alliance delegates to this truly original young artist. www.kizzymerielcrawford.com

Thursday 19th - 01.30 at Horizons, Regent's Suite, 5th Floor (539)

Saturday 21st - 14.30 at Horizons, Regent's Suite, 5th Floor (539)

                           - 19.00 official showcase , Roanoke

                           - 00.30 at Horizons, Regent's Suite, 5th Floor (539)



Chris Jones

chrisjones400x300Chris describes himself as "a contemporary Welsh folk balladeer who sings songs in Welsh and English, from the traditions of the British Isles and further afield". Said BBC Radio Wales presenter Adam Walton “When Chris recorded a session for BBC radio, the yearning, unaffected beauty of his songs – the truth in his rich baritone - reduced the battle-hardened engineers and production staff to tears.”  Sain Records

Wednesday 18th - 01.30 at Horizons, Regent's Suite, 5th Floor (539)

Thursday 19th - 14.00 at Horizons, Regent's Suite, 5th Floor (539)

Friday 20th - 14.30 ITR with David Llewellyn at Horizons, Regent's Suite, 5th Floor (539)

Saturday 21st - ITR with Vincent Cross at Horizons, Regent's Suite, 5th Floor (539)

                         - 21.00 official showcase, Roanoke


Gwyneth Glyn

"Her Lyrics have a simplicity of language and imagery: there’s a poet here who is able to leave words and images hanging in the memory…. She has a fine feel for the art of songwriting as well as the wind, trees and landscape of Wales that inform her music and emotions.” – Frazer Cains, LWCLl  gwynethglyn.com

Thursday 19th - 15.00 at Horizons, Regent's Suite, 5th Floor (539)

Saturday 21st - official showcase at Folk Music Canada




The Horizons Suite will also be hosting performances by other performers from the UK and Eire plus guests from the USA and Canada, including

Friday 20th at 14.30: Mountain Ash born singer-songwriter David Llewellyn, winner of the John Lennon Award and now based in Nashville www.davidllewellyn.com

Saturday 21st at 15.30: Darren Eedens, a young singer-songwriter from Toronto, who's now resident in Cardiff darreneedens.bandcamp.com

All the Horizons showcases are in our calendar - click here to see and share

Looking forward to seeing you at the Horizons Suite or official showcases, or come and meet us at the trade fair, Stand 202


Folk Frenzy: new course packed out with young folkies

trac's first course especially designed for young people begins this weekend. Sold out and over-subscribed, we're delighted to welcome 35 young musicians, singers and cloggers to the Urdd's centre at GlanLlyn on the shores of Bala Lake for a four-day course with tutors Bethan Rhiannon, Patrick Rimes and Gwenan Gibbard.



Full details are here



Beyond the Marches: folk songs of Wales and England



Beyond The Marches / Dros y Ffin, featuring some of the finest young contemporary folk musicians on the scene, will explore and celebrate the shared history and culture of two nations, Wales and England.

In a unique artistic residential collaboration, they will dig into the countries’ national archives to unearth traditional songs and tunes that have transcended the border and create new material during a short residential at Tŷ Newydd, the National Writing Centre of Wales and former home of David Lloyd George.

The group will develop a new show using the material, songs and information that marks the similarities and embraces the differences of the material uncovered on their journey.

Beyond The Marches / Dros y Ffin will then be performed at three high profile concerts at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff and Cecil Sharp House, the home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, in London in May 2015.

Reflecting a heritage of cultural and musical differences which has transcended borders, woven together in their own inimitable styles, this alliance will be a rare opportunity to savour a new piece of musical history.

Beyond The Marches / Dros y Ffin is a joint commission by trac and the English Folk Dance and Song Society. It is supported by the PRS for Music Foundation Beyond Borders programme, a co-commissioning and touring programme run in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.


The concerts

Saturday 2nd May 2015 - Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 8pm   http://www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk/music/beyond-marches

Sunday 3rd May 2015 -  Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre, 7.30pm  http://www.wmc.org.uk/BeyondtheMarches

 Monday 4th May 2015 - London, Cecil Sharp House, 7.30pm  http://www.cecilsharphouse.org/component/content/article/21-shared/shared-events/2282-


About the artists:

Elan Rhys is the lead vocalist of the contemporary folk group Plu, a sibling trio from Caernarfon, North Wales, who have quickly risen to prominence in the Welsh music scene. Plu released its debut album in 2012 followed with the release of the digital single 'Arthur' in January 2014.

Elan not only takes the reins while performing but during the songwriting process. She is influenced by contemporary Americana, old country and the music of psych-folk Welsh groups of the 60s and 70s. Plu has performed in a wide variety of festivals, including Hay Literature Festival and EHZ Festibala in the South of France. They also recorded a live session for the BBC in the renowned Maida Vale studios as part of the BBC Introducing Horizons project.

In December 2014, Plu released 'Holl Anifeiliaid y Goedwig' on Sain Records. This children's album is an experimental collection of original songs and modern versions of well-known folk songs for children.



Patrick Rimes is a fiddle player, piper and composer/arranger based in Cardiff. Born and raised in Bethesda, North West Wales, Patrick was quickly drawn into the thriving scene of traditional music sessions and workshops in Bangor, alongside his instrumental studies with ‘classical’ teachers. He was twice named junior fiddle champion of Wales, and remains the only person to have won the coveted ‘blue ribbon’ award at Anglesey Eisteddfod for a traditional music performance.

Following periods of study at both the University of Leeds and Janáčkova Akademie Múzických v Brně (Czech Republic) Patrick currently divides his time between the Royal Welsh College in Cardiff and a busy international gigging schedule.

As a member of Calan, he has taken Welsh music to prestigious festivals including Cambridge, Sidmouth and Cropredy, as well as touring regularly in Europe and the USA. His work with Cerys Matthews has seen him play as a soloist at the Womex opening concert and the BBC Proms, and he was recently musical director for a Christmas TV broadcast by Bryn Terfel.



Georgia Ruth Williams is a bilingual singer, songwriter and harpist from Aberystwyth in West Wales. In May 2013, she released her debut album – Week of Pines - on Gwymon Records.

Lead single ‘Week of Pines’ garnered sterling support across the airwaves. Steve Lamacq named her his “Favourite New Band” on BBC 6 Music, after she won his Rebel Playlist and invited her on the show as his guest. Jo Whiley picked the single as her “New Favourite Thing” in the same week on BBC Radio 2. Gideon Coe, Huw Stephens, Dermot O’Leary, and Janice Long have also played the song amongst others. Georgia also performed a live session for Lauren Laverne’s BBC 6Music Morning Show.

Week of Pines won the 2013 Welsh Music Prize (nominated alongside records by Neon Neon, Sweet Baboo) and she was a nominee in the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (for ‘Best Traditional Track’ and the ‘Horizons Award’). Georgia presents a weekly music show on BBC Radio Cymru.



Archie Churchill-Moss hails from Glastonbury in Somerset and has been performing around the UK and further afield for around 8 years now and at the age of 21 is one of England’s top young melodeon players.

Having been tutored from a young age by Andy Cutting Rob Harbron and Saul Rose among others, he is well positioned to carry the baton of virtuosic diatonic tradition. The roots of his musical influences range from Southern England to all across Europe.

He performs regularly with BBC Radio 2 Young folk award winners Moore, Moss, Rutter, whose second studio album is soon to be released, and has appeared on BBC Radio 2 and Sky arts HD as a result of this.

Moore, Moss, Rutter have spent the last 5 years touring up and down England performing at some of the UK’s biggest festivals including 2 appearances at Glastonbury festival. Archie can also be seen performing with Breton Folk outfit Dragonsfly in and around Glastonbury and plays Castagnari melodeons.



David Gibb is an award winning song writer, story teller and the tallest man in Derbyshire on a mission to create great music for children and families. At just 24 years old he’s already had his music played on BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, performed at Glastonbury Festival (amongst many others), played over 400 concerts, been nominated for a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award as part of the duo ‘David Gibb & Elly Lucas’, and won the highly commended prize at the Young Story Teller of the Year competition (2011).



Lucy Ward is an award winning acoustic artist from Derby. She plays guitar, ukulele and concertina but considers her voice to be her first instrument. After getting her first guitar at theage of 14, Lucy ventured into acoustic clubs, it was there that she first heard the traditional music that she now loves. Captured by the lyrics and stories of traditional song Lucy delved further into the world of folk music, visiting clubs and sessions up and down the country before getting booked to play gigs in her own right. In 2009 Lucy reached the final of the BBC Young Folk Award and she hasn’t looked back since!

After winning the Horizon Award for best newcomer at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Lucy’s career has gone from strength to strength. In 2013 she was nominated for the acclaimed Folk Singer of the Year at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, making Lucy one of the youngest people ever to be nominated for this most prestigious award.

Her debut album ‘Adelphi Has To Fly’ met with widespread critical acclaim. Lucy was named by MOJO as ‘Britfolk’s most vibrant and forthright new young talent’ and attracted 4-star reviews from The Guardian and Maverick Magazine.





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